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Jimmy Vesey eyes Rangers reunion with tryout deal

Jimmy Vesey could be a Ranger once again.

The Rangers signed the 29-year-old journeyman to a professional tryout contract on Friday, a league source confirmed to The Post. Vesey, who Slap Shots first linked to the Blueshirts a month ago, now has an opportunity to return to the team he spent the first three seasons of his NHL career with.

Coming off a decent season with the Devils, Vesey will give the Rangers another option to fill the holes left by last season’s trade-deadline acquisitions who all left in free agency. He primarily played a depth role in New Jersey, which is also a possibility in this reunion with the Rangers.

Vesey has competed with five different teams throughout his six-year NHL career, including four in the last three seasons. The Rangers traded Vesey to Buffalo following the 2018-19 season, over which he scored 17 goals and dished 18 assists in a career-high 81 games. Vesey didn’t meet expectations with the Sabres and posted what was at the time a career-low nine goals.

As a free agent ahead of the 2020-21 season, Vesey signed a one-year deal with the Maple Leafs. The Canucks later claimed Vesey off waivers in March 2021. Combining for five goals and five assists in 50 games with both Toronto and Vancouver, Vesey primarily served as a depth middle six to bottom six player.

Jimmy Vesey #16 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates teammate Dougie Hamilton's goal in the third period against the New York Islanders at Prudential Center on November 11, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. The New Jersey Devils defeated the New York Islanders 4-0. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Jimmy Vesey of the New Jersey Devils celebrates
Getty Images

The Devils signed Vesey to a professional tryout contract and ultimately signed him to a one-year, $800,000 contract last season. If he impresses over some top prospects and other bottom six options from last season, it’s likely Vesey will sign a similar deal with the Rangers.

Vesey, who was selected by Nashville in the third round of the 2012 NHL Draft, memorably informed the Predators he had no interest in signing at the start of his career. This ignited a sweepstakes for the Harvard product, who also won the Hobey Baker Award as the top collegiate hockey player in the U.S. The Sabres acquired his signing rights to prolong negotiations in hopes of striking a deal, but Vesey ended up becoming an unrestricted free agent and met with even more teams before deciding on the Rangers. 

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